Oh, it’s that time again, when yellow signs pop up all over Aberdeenshire and I feel like I’m living in amongst such exciting creativity and talent. By far the biggest open studios in Scotland -nearly 300 entrants this year- and one of the biggest in the UK, it’s impossible to get to everything. Or even, what with life, and ill children, supermarket shops and nursery runs, very much. I managed to pay a visit to the talented Simpson family on Monday. Stuart Simpson wasn’t there in person, but his lovely dad showed Sol some printing and it was a pleasure to see his beautiful pyrographs and woodcuts.
New this year were two rounded-edged, 3d wall sculptures, alongside the familiar bears and foxes. I loved Squall, a swirling, stormy woodcut, and a round one which Sol and Mr. Simpson both agreed looked like water going down a pipe. Cue a long and deep discussion about pipes.
Stuart’s mum Ruth, a textile artist, has her studio upstairs, complete with spinning wheels, felt, knitting, embroidery, tea and two woodburning stoves. AKA heaven.
Next stop was a group venue which included illustrator Gabrielle Reith, whose enchanting drawings adorned everything from stickers to brooches to baby clothes to Christmas decorations. She also had beautiful original works and prints for sale, and also sells through Etsy.
I could have spent some serious cash there, and will be going back for one or two Christmas presents. Apologies for the terrible photos, but I was simultaneously child watching, chatting to Gabrielle, and staring agog at all the pretty things, so I took one fuzzy shot and that was it!
More NEOS to come…